Career path and evaluation policy for Professorial Staff (ZAP)

On 7 December 2018, the Board of Governors at Ghent University approved a brand new career and evaluation policy for professorial staff (ZAP).

The new policy is an important milestone towards a high-quality policy for all ZAP members of the university. This policy will take effect from 1 October 2018.


" A predominantly quantitative and output-driven academic evaluation process makes way for talent development and growth, prioritizing vision development and strategy – at the personal as well as the group level. Quality prevails over quantity. " (Rector Rik Van de Walle)

What does this new policy entail?

  • Those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative inconvenience.
  • The current evaluation model, with personalized objectives (and a predominant focus on purely quantitative indicators) based on faculty reference frameworks, is discontinued. This means doing away with personalized objectives, annual task descriptions, the high number of activity reports, evaluation files and faculty evaluation committees for professorial staff.
  • From now on, evaluation will take place every five years (which is the minimum as stipulated by decree) instead of every two or four years. This creates an “evaluation break”.
  • The evaluation cycle is simplified to include:
    1. A staff integration session (at the beginning of each cycle)
    2. An interim feedback session (at least one, after the first two years)
    3. A performance review (at the end of each cycle, after five years)
  • More than ever before, we will focus on talent-oriented career support and coaching of the professorial staff in the different phases of their career. For each ZAP member, a personalized HR committee will be set up (consisting of the department chair of the ZAP member involved, a ZAP member from the Educational Quality Control Unit, a member of the faculty office, a peer ZAP member (at the level of full professor or senior full professor) and an HR expert).

Templates and guidelines

Templates for professorial staff members and their HR committees:

For inspiration and support for completing the templates, see our guidelines in the portfolio per sub-assignment: 

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